This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 17th, Johnny Rawlings, Bill Landrum and Moose vs Pirates

There have been five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date. We also have one game of note from our Game Rewind series.

Chad Qualls, relief pitcher for the 2012 Pirates. He was originally a 52nd round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 out of Los Angeles Harbor College. He transferred to the University of Nevada and moved up to a second round pick in 2000 by the Houston Astros. He debuted in pro ball in 2001 with Low-A Michigan of the Midwest League as a starter, where he went 15-6, 3.72, with 125 strikeouts in 162 innings over 26 starts. He was already up in Double-A to begin his second season in pro ball. Qualls went 6-13, 4.36, with 142 strikeouts in 163 innings over 29 starts for Round Rock of the Texas League in 2002. He remained in Round Rock in 2003, where he went 8-11, 3.85, with 132 strikeouts in 175.1 innings over 28 starts. He moved up to Triple-A in 2004, and didn’t do particularly well with his 5.57 ERA in 106.1 innings split over 14 starts and 18 relief appearances with New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League. He still made it to the majors that year, where he had a 4-0, 3.55 record in 33 innings over 25 relief appearances. He was up in the majors for good at that point, and he made 77 appearances during his first full season in the majors with the 2005 Astros. Qualls had a 6-4, 3.28 record in 79.2 innings. The Astros went to the World Series that year and he pitched a total of nine times in the playoffs, allowing three runs over 13 innings. In 2006, he went 7-3, 3.76 in 88.2 innings over 81 games.

In 2007, Qualls was 6-5, 3.05 in 82.2 innings over 79 games. He picked up five saves that season, after just one in his previous three years combined. His 78 strikeouts that year were his career high over 14 seasons in the majors. He was part of a three-for-one deal for closer Jose Valverde in December of 2007, going to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the trade. Qualls went 4-8, 2.81 in 73.2 innings over 77 games, with nine saves in 2008. The next year he had a 2-2, 3.63 record in 52 innings over 51 games, as he moved into the closer role. His 24 saves that season ended up being a career high. He got off to a poor start in 2010 and was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays mid-season, where things only got slightly better. Qualls finished with a 7.32 ERA in 59 innings over 70 games, picking up 12 saves, which all came before the trade. He had a 5.57 ERA in 27 games after the trade. In 2011, he signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Padres and bounced back with 6-8, 3.51 record in 74.1 innings over 77 games. His 2012 season saw him play with three different teams during the year. Qualls signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent, then was traded to the New York Yankees on June 1st. He came to the Pirates from the Yankees at the 2012 trading deadline in exchange for Casey McGehee.

Qualls had a 4.60 ERA in 35 games with the Phillies and a 6.14 ERA in eight outings with the Yankees. He made 17 appearances during his two months with the Pirates, going 0-0, 6.59 in 13.2 innings. The Pirates let him go via free agency at the end of the season and he signed with the Miami Marlins three months later. He had a strong 2013 season, going 5-2, 2.61 in 62 innings over 66 games. He returned to the Astros as a free agent in 2014 and also returned to the closer role for a time. He went 1-5, 3.33 in 51.1 innings over 58 games in 2014, picking up 19 saves. He only had four saves in 2015 when he had a 3-5, 4.38 record in 49.1 innings over 60 outings. Qualls moved on to the Colorado Rockies for his final two seasons. He had a 5.23 ERA in 32.2 innings over 44 games in 2016, and a 5.40 ERA in 16.2 innings over 19 games in 2017. He was released in early July that year, which ended his pro career. Qualls played 14 seasons in the majors, seeing time with nine different clubs. He went 52-48, 3.89 in 807.1 innings over 844 appearances. All of his big league games came as a reliever. He finished with 74 saves.

Alex Cole, outfielder for the 1992 Pirates. He signed as a second round draft pick of the St Louis Cardinals in January of 1985 out of State College of Florida. A year earlier, he passed on signing with the Pirates, who selected him in the 11th round. Cole showed off his impressive speed in his first season, stealing 46 bases and scoring 60 runs in 66 games for Johnson City of the short-season Appalachian League. He had a .263 average and a .655 OPS. In 1986, he began the year with St Petersburg in the Class-A Florida State League, and spent the second half of the season in Triple-A with Louisville of the American Association. In 137 games between both levels, he hit .305 with 101 runs scored, 71 walks and 80 stolen bases, though that came with 35 caught stealing. He had much better results at the lower level, with an .830 OPS in 74 games. In 1987, Cole spent the entire year in Double-A with Arkansas of the Texas League and hit .256 in 125 games, with 68 runs, 44 walks and a .628 OPS. He ran a lot again, stealing 68 bases in 97 attempts. In 1988, he spent the entire season back in Louisville, where he batted .232 in 120 games, with 44 runs and 42 walks, leading to a .598 OPS. The low OBP (.307) led to fewer stolen base attempts, but he had better success, going 40-for-55 in steals. He also had more triples (eight) than doubles and homers combined (seven). Cole did a much better job at getting on base in his second full season at Triple-A, batting .281 with 75 runs, 71 walks and a .706 OPS in 127 games. He had just 12 extra-base hits all year and he stole 47 bases in 66 attempts. He was traded to the San Diego Padres during Spring Training in 1990, but before he made his big league debut, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians on July 11th.

Cole had a big first season with Cleveland after coming up in late July. He had a .710 OPS in 90 games with Las Vegas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League before the trade. After the deal, it took just 14 games with Colorado Springs of the PCL before he was promoted to the majors. He batted .429 and had a .978 OPS during that time. He hit .300/.379/.357 with 40 stolen bases in 63 games for the 1990 Indians. He was a regular in center field the next year and hit .295 with 58 runs, 17 doubles and 58 walks in 122 games, but the stolen bases really went down, swiping 27 bags while getting caught 17 times. Cole’s 1992 season started off slow and his playing time became very limited going into July. On July 4, 1992, the Pirates acquired him in exchange for minor league outfielder Tony Mitchell. Cole had a .206 average and a .501 OPS in 109 plate appearances over 41 games with the 1992 Indians. He mostly played left field and center in Cleveland, but after coming over to the Pirates, who had Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke in the outfield, he moved over to right field and saw plenty of playing time. In 64 games for the 1992 Pirates, he hit .278 with 33 runs scored. He did not run as much that year, stealing 16 bases in 22 attempts. In the playoffs, he went 2-for-10 with three walks and two runs scored. After the season, he was lost to the Colorado Rockies in the expansion draft.

Cole played a career high 126 games in 1993, hitting .256 with 50 runs scored, 13 extra-base hits, 43 walks, a .644 OPS and 30 steals. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Minnesota Twins, where he hit .296 in 105 games during the strike-shortened 1994 season, finishing with 68 runs scored, 24 extra-base hits and 29 steals in 37 attempts. His .778 OPS was a career high for a full season. After having his best season in 1994, Cole appeared on his way to even better things in 1995. He was hitting .360 on May 30th when he broke his right fibula and dislocated his ankle while attempting to make a play in center field as a late-innings defensive replacement. He did not return that season until late September and he batted just five times after returning. He signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent in 1996, where he hit just .222/.296/.319 in 24 games, while spending a majority of the year with Triple-A Pawtucket of the International League. That ended up being his last big league season, but he played pro ball until 2001, spending time in the Mexican League and in independent ball. His final three seasons were spent with Bridgeport of the Atlantic League. He was also briefly in the Florida Marlins farm system during the 1997 season. In seven big league seasons, Cole hit .280 in 573 games, with 286 runs scored, 58 doubles, 26 triples, five homers, 117 RBIs and 148 steals. Four of his five career homers came during the 1994 season. His 1998 stats from Mexico are missing, but the rest of his 17-year pro career shows him stealing 533 bases.

Bill Landrum, reliever for the 1989-91 Pirates. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1980 after going undrafted out of college. Before making it to the majors, he went from the Cubs to the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox, then back to the Reds. He was 22 years old in the Gulf Coast League in 1980, where he had a 4.14 ERA in 37 innings over 11 relief appearances. With the Reds organization in 1981, he went 6-8, 3.80 in 83 innings as a starter for Tampa in the Class-A Florida State League. Landrum moved up to Double-A Waterbury of the Eastern League in 1982, where he went 10-6, 4.09, with 104 strikeouts in 112.1 innings over 58 appearances, with two starts and six saves. He missed a little time in 1983, but still split the season evenly between Waterbury and Triple-A Indianapolis of the American Association, combining to go 2-4, 2.09 in 47.1 innings over 32 appearances, with better results at the lower level. The entire 1984 season was spent in Triple-A with Wichita of the American Association, where he went 7-4, 3.45, with 120 strikeouts in 130.1 innings, which were split over nine starts and 38 relief appearances. Landrum was a Rule 5 pick of the White Sox in December of 1984, but he was returned to the Reds at the end of Spring Training in 1985. He was in Triple-A for all of 1985 as well, though his team switched from Wichita to the thin air of Denver of the Pacific Coast League. Landrum had a better season while posting a higher ERA due to the high offense in Denver. He went 6-6, 3.98 in 138 innings over 19 starts and ten relief appearances. He returned to Denver in 1986 and switched back to relief, going 1-3, 3.47 in 36.1 innings over 24 games (two starts), picking up eight saves.

Landrum broke into the majors on August 31, 1986, pitching ten games that year for the Reds, posting a 6.75 ERA in 13.1 innings. He made the Opening Day roster in 1987, but started off slow and was back in Triple-A (Nashville of the American Association) by early May. He returned to the Reds in June and ended up pitching 44 big league games that year, going 3-2, 4.71 in 65 innings. Landrum was dealt to the Cubs at the end of Spring Training in 1988. He spent the start of the season in Triple-A before joining the Cubs in May. He was then sent down in June and missed the last 2 1/2 months of the season with a knee injury. He pitched a total of just 16 games all year, seven in the majors and nine in Triple-A. He had a 5.84 ERA in 12.1 innings with the Cubs that season. The Pirates signed him as a free agent in January of 1989, and that ended up being his best season in the majors. In 56 appearances, he had a 1.67 ERA, with a career high 26 saves in 81 innings. He also set a career high with 51 strikeouts. In 1990, he helped the Pirates to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. Landrum went 7-3, 2.13 in 71.2 innings over 54 games, picking up 13 saves. In the postseason he had two scoreless appearances, retiring all six batters he faced.

In 1991, Landrum pitched in a career high 61 games, posting a 3.18 ERA in 76.1 innings, with 13 saves. He pitched once in the playoffs, giving up a run on two hits and two walks in his only inning of work. He was released by the Pirates in 1992 during the middle of Spring Training after they were unable to trade him, partially due to a high salary. Landrum signed with the Montreal Expos soon afterwards, and really struggled. In 18 appearances, he posted a 7.30 ERA over 20 innings, while spending half of the season in Triple-A, back with Indianapolis. He spent his last big league season with the Reds in 1993, pitching 18 games, with a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings. After a three-year layoff, Landrum pitched one more season of pro ball, playing for the Lubbock Crickets, an Independent League team, where he had a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings. He finished his big league career with an 18-15, 3.39 record in 361 innings over 268 games (two starts), with 58 saves. With the Pirates he went 13-10, 2.32 in 229 innings, picking up 56 of his career saves. His father Joe Landrum pitched two season (1950 and 1952) for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Johnny Rawlings, second baseman for the 1923-26 Pirates. He played the first three years of his pro career out on the west coast, prior to making his Major League debut with the 1914 Cincinnati Reds. He debuted with Vernon of the Class-A Pacific Coast League in 1911 (highest level of the minors until Double-A was created in 1912), playing one game in which he went 3-for-3 with two doubles. The next year was spent with Victoria of the Class-B Northwestern League at 19 years old. Rawlings batted .209 in 167 games, with 19 doubles, three triples and three homers. He remained in Victoria in 1913 and hit .262 with 30 doubles, six triples and a homer in 167 games, which got him a shot with the Reds. During the middle of that first season in the majors, he jumped to the newly formed Federal League (a Major League at the time) playing two years for the Kansas City Packers. He batted .217/.288/.233 in 33 games with the Reds before switching leagues. Rawlings was a light-hitting, good glove shortstop at the time, batting .212/.296/.228 in 61 games with Kansas City after the jump. In 1915, he hit .216 in 120 games, with 40 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs, 17 steals and a .532 OPS. When the Federal League folded after two years, he went to Toledo of the Double-A American Association for the 1916 season, where he batted .250 with 28 extra-base hits in 169 games. He was picked by the Boston Braves in the Rule 5 draft after the season ended, becoming Boston’s starting second baseman for most of the 1917 season. He led all National League second baseman in fielding percentage and he showed a big improvement in his batting, hitting .256 in 122 games, with 37 runs, 31 RBIs and a .655 OPS.

Rawlings moved to shortstop in 1918, and while his defense was strong there, his batting slipped to .207/.265/.239 in 111 games and his playing time took a hit. He played just 77 games in 1919, hitting .255 with 17 extra-base hits and a .607 OPS. He was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1920 after barely moving from the bench for the first two months, playing just five games and getting six plate appearance. The move to Philadelphia, where he saw full-time duty at second base, resurrected his career. Rawlings played everyday for the Phillies at second base until the dealt him to the New York Giants during the middle of the 1921 season. He batted .234 with 39 runs, 24 extra-base hits and 30 RBIs in 98 games over the last four months of the 1920 season. In 1921, he hit .291/.318/.378 in 60 games with the Phillies and .267/.316/.309 in 86 games with the Giants. Between both stops, he hit .278 in a career high 146 games, setting highs with 60 runs scored, 22 doubles and 46 RBIs. While in New York, he helped them win the 1921 World Series with a .333 average against the New York Yankees.

Despite hitting .282 with a .789 OPS in 88 games in 1922, while leading all National League second basemen in fielding, Rawlings was put on waivers in May of 1923, where the Phillies picked him up. He didn’t played for Philadelphia this time though, refusing to report to the team. On May 22, 1923, the Pirates traded Cotton Tierney and Whitey Glazner to the Phillies in exchange for Rawlings and Lee Meadows. For the Pirates, he went right in at second base and batted .284 with 53 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 45 RBIs and a .669 OPS in 119 games. In 1924, Pittsburgh moved Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville over to second base. Rawlings lost his job and almost became invisible at the end of the bench. He pinch-hit three times all season and that’s it, as Maranville played nearly every single inning that year. In 1925, the Pirates won the World Series and Rawlings was a seldom used bench player again, for most of the year at least. In mid-August, after playing in 15 of the first 107 games, with just two starts, he started 21 games in a row at second base. An injury to left fielder Max Carey, caused a position shuffle that saw second baseman Eddie Moore go to right field, while right fielder Clyde Barnhart went to left field for Carey, leaving a spot open for Rawlings. Unfortunately for Rawlings, he broke his ankle during a slide on September 5th and was out for the rest of the year. He hit .282/.336/.400 during that championship season.

Rawlings played 61 games for the Pirates in 1926 and hit .232 with a .552 OPS. He went to the minors for his last four years of pro ball. The Pirates released him unconditionally after the 1926 season and he signed with Columbus of the Double-A American Association, who sold him to Minneapolis of the same league early in the 1927 season. He batted .290 with 14 extra-base hits  in 81 games that season. The 1928 season was split between Minneapolis  and Toledo of the same league. In 141 games, he hit .293 with 64 runs and 43 extra-base hits. Rawlings was with Minneapolis for all of 1929, hitting .268 with 35 extra-base hits in 125 games. His final season was spent with Los Angeles of the Double-A Pacific Coast League, where he hit .253 in 34 games. He was a .272 hitter in 219 games with the Pirates, and he batted .250 in 1,080 career games over 12 seasons in the majors. He finished with 409 runs scored, 122 doubles, 28 triples, 14 homers, 303 RBIs and 93 steals. After his playing days, Rawlings managed for seven seasons in the AAGPBL, the league made famous by the movie League of Their Own.

Arch Reilly, third baseman for the Pirates on June 1, 1917. His stay with the Pirates was short. He reported to the team on May 28, 1917 after finishing up his job as a college math teacher. Four days later, he came into a 9-1 game in the ninth inning with the Pirates on the losing end against the Philadelphia Phillies. Reilly had one play at third base that he handled cleanly, and he never got a chance to bat. Two days later, he played an exhibition game and went 1-for-4, while starting at third base. The next day he was released on option, sent to Scranton of the Class-B New York State League along with pitcher Marcus Milligan, who never played a game for the Pirates before being sent down. The following year, Milligan was killed in a plane crash at age 22 while training for military service during WWI. Reilly finished the 1917 season in the minors, then returned to one of his alma maters (Marshall University) to coach three different sports, baseball, basketball and football. He also attended Ohio State University, where he was the captain of the basketball team.

Prior to joining the Pirates, Arch (first name was Archer) played four years of minor league ball, while also serving as a manager for the 1915 Wheeling Stogies of the Class-B Central League. In 1913 at 21 years old, he hit .267 with 57 runs, 31 extra-base hits and 24 steals in 133 games for Springfield of the Central League. His full 1914 stats aren’t available, but he split the year between Springfield and Grand Rapids, also of the Central League. What is known is that in 127 games that season, he had 26 extra-base hits, 67 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. As the player-manager in 1915 for Wheeling (he took over the manager spot on July 21st), he hit .264 in 118 games, with 48 runs, 17 doubles, four triples, one homer and 29 stolen bases. Still in Wheeling in 1916, he hit .292 in 106 games. Days after he signed with the Pirates on February 19, 1917, there was a dispute between the Wheeling baseball officials and the Pirates over his contract, with Wheeling saying that his contract needed to be purchased, while the Pirates claimed that there was no Wheeling club for the 1917 season, so he was free to sign anywhere. His original contract allowed him to finish the school year before reporting to the Pirates. After leaving the Pirates, he .250 in 49 games with Scranton, then returned to the Central League with Richmond, where he batted .245 in 40 games.

The Game

On this date in 1924, the Pittsburgh Pirates played a mid-season exhibition game against a semi-pro team named the Warren Moose. The game included Hall of Famers Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, Rabbit Maranville and Pie Traynor in the starting lineup, as well as some odd sights among the other players used. In the second half of the game, the Pirates used pitcher Arnie Stone in right field. The catcher during the second half was Grover Land, a scout/coach, who last played in the majors nine years earlier. They also used pitcher Bud Culloton, who pitched three mid-season exhibition games for the 1924 Pirates, but didn’t make his big league debut until the next season. Here’s the full recap with boxscore.